River of Heaven (OpenQuest) – Sean’s Pick, 123014

It would appear that sci-fi is really hot again for RPG fans, and this complete RPG from D101 Games is a surprise hit bubbling to the top of the charts right here at the end of 2014. The “Babylon 5”-esque opening text doesn’t hurt, at least for a fan like me.

“It is the dawn of the 28th Century.

The Third Renaissance, or Bright Age as future historians will call it, is at its zenith.

After the catastrophic first contact with extra-terrestrial life that led to the horrific Solar System war, humanity clawed its way back from the brink and finally reached the stars. For millions of people, Earth’s sun is no more than another star in the night sky, a mote of light, a spiritual birthplace that they will never visit in their lifetimes.

It has been over a century since the Machine Civilisation gifted humanity technological marvels such as the Visser Cube, allowing wormhole travel across the vast chasms of interstellar space. Now interstellar distances grow ever shorter. How the myriad of splintered cultures view this gift varies. Some see it as a blessing, a way to draw humanity into a united whole. Others see it as a curse, robbing them of their individuality. And then there are those who would use it as a means to subjugate humanity and impose their own will upon all…

Across the river of heaven, humanity clings to a scattering of islands in a sea of stars. Players can take on a multitude of roles in this future: a crew member on an interstellar trader, a member of the mysterious Engineers’ Guild, a body-hopping Intercessionist agent – out to manipulate human cultures to its own secret ends, a Renouncer Zealot – intent on destroying Artificial Intelligence in all its forms, or perhaps one of the Reclaimers – planetary engineers dedicated to terraforming any viable planet they happen upon…”

River of Heaven uses D101 games’ OpenQuest rules engine; a sleek and streamlined D100 rule set that enables you to maintain the tempo of your stories whilst keeping the rules simple and in the background.

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